Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's been a ragegy day. A horrible infuriating day.

It's especially sad because it was indeed Mac's sixth birthday. I was on a roll. I worked out, made birthday cake pancakes and listened to Mac crow about how many presents he got. I was feeling guilty because it was mostly needed clothing and some school supplies. But he was super excited. Then the girls and I rushed out the door to make it to futsal.

And that's where the day fell apart.

I dropped Baby off at the door of the futsal arena since parking was impossible to find. I turned to see her rushing back out the door in tears. Yup, I'd misread the schedule so her team was walking out the door as we arrived. I felt lousy. Completely awful.

So we did some shopping and returned for Baba's game. Baby was still dressed for her game and Baba's coach jokingly asked me to fill out a waiver to allow her to play with Baba's team as they were missing several people. When he figured out that Baby was already signed up and had promised not to sue anyone, he told her she could play with them. She got very excited, handed me her candy (that I bought her to make her not be too angry at me) and my tablet that she had been playing a game on. And off she went.

The futsal arena is not set up well and is very crowded with lots of jostling and bumping. I had Cinco in the front carrier and my purse over my shoulder. Mac had stayed home with the father figure to play video games for his birthday. I noticed my purse seemed to be getting bumped a lot, but as I always had one child playing I didn't think too much of it. Well, that was stupid. At the end of the game, I discovered that my tablet was gone. Out of my purse, which admittedly, hadn't been properly closed. Lots and lots of rage ensued. Rage that could only be directed towards some invisible evil creepy person. Who steals from a gal holding a baby? Porlandia, it's really not that cool.

Foolishly, I called and turned off service before realizing that I would need service in order to track it. Although that would require the creep who stole it to turn on the gps and I don't see that happening. So before heading off to Mac's family birthday party, I panickly changed passwords on everything.

I can't shake the feeling of being violated. There are pictures of my kids in the hands of some jerk. That's what really frosts me. That entitled thief doesn't have the right to look at my kids. The father figure has listened to me rant about this, and simply smiles. He tried telling me that they've probably already wiped it, but then that leads to ranting about how they have no right to eliminate any videos or pictures of my babies. I'm just very angry.

Add caption
Annoyingly, this kept me from delighting in the very good futsal game both Baby and Baba played. I was very proud of Baby as she was playing against girls who were almost three years older than her. Although she came up to the arm pits of many of them, she more than held her own. As she was charging towards a significantly larger girl, Baba's coach leaned over to Baba and said "Your sister's an animal." Baby was very pleased to hear that.

Mac gave me a hug and told me that this was the best day ever. Which really helped. I'm glad that in all the chaos, he had a good day playing games with his dad and hanging with his cousins. He also couldn't believe all the presents he received.

And a cherry on top of the day of not awesomeness that I had, my brother in law gave my son a fart gun for his birthday. Yes, and X-Man has found it. Why do bad things happen to semi good people?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tomorrow is Mac's birthday. As I am trying to claw my way out of my turkey coma and survive my Black Friday escapades, I will reflect on Mac. Mac really is the origin of this blog. I would share his exploits on the book of faces and he amused the masses. These are a few of the highlight I have gleaned while trying to hold both X-Man and Cinco. They are both aware of each other's existence and are concerned that I may possible bestow just a smidgen more attention on the other. It's a barrel of monkeys, more literally than one might like.

Mac was the boy that I had to instruct to NOT lick the frozen turkey while we were shopping in Costco. It was only the first of many instructions I was always surprised to have to give. 
"Mac, we do not shoot strangers, especially people trying to watch your sister's soccer game!"
 "Well, he's still alive."

Mac also is the only child, so far, to actually moon the father figure. He's the only one who's woken me up to talk to his hair. 

He's taight me that "get dressed so we can get on to school" meant "sit in the middle of your room and sing....naked."

He went a full day only responding to Robot Destroyer.

He is a fascinating conversationalist. Very often late at night. 
"There are monsters in my room, or, I mean, a robot. There's a big robot in room, and I'm scared. I mean, spiderman. Spiderman is in my room, can I sleep with you?"
Me: "I thought Spiderman was your friend, why are you scared?"
Mac: "Spiderman is in my bed, so I need to sleep with you."

Me, to the loud children, "Unless someone is bleeding or dying, do not interrupt me when I am on the phone." Mac: "Bleeding? Dying? Where?"

"Mom, wanna hear something gross?"  He was offended when I said "not really,"

"Mommy, is there such a thing as burglars?" 
"I mean in this world, are there burglars?" 
"Yes honey, in this world there are people who come take your stuff without asking." 
"So, is Baby a burglar?"

When speaking to his Grandfather "Do you have any chips?"
"Do you have any banannas?"

"Were you robbed?"

Restless night with Mac. He woke me up, wanting to be reassured that there were no such things as vampires and zombies. And the letter "v". And then he couldn't accept that there weren't vampires because they start with "v" and "v" is for real. It became a very complicated conversation.

Baby "when I grow up I'm going to have a baby, be a bride and be a doctor."
Baba "I'm going to be a teacher." 
Mac "I'm going to be a Transformer and my name will be Bonkhead." We'll focus on Baby's life order in the future. 

"Mac can you give mommy a kiss?"
 "Nah, but I can pinch your nose."

"You don't show me you love me with kisses, you give me piggy back rides."

Conversation at 11:15pm....."I wish there were bugs in my room. There aren't any. Not yet." I have made peace with the fact that I am a destroyer of boyhood dreams.

"Mommy, I peed in your bed, so I'm going to go sleep in mine." 

"I'm going to punch you!"
"EXCUSE ME young man, you do not punch your mother." 
"I mean, I'm going to hand you this bowl. Here you go."

"mommy look at the snake I made" 
"Oh, cute" 
"Not cute....SCARY!"

"did you take a rocketship to the moon?.....did you fly in a helicopter that crashed?.... did you fly to outerspace without a rocket?......did you go in the ocean and a robot shark eat you?....well then, where are you?" (Mac's actual phone conversation with his dad, who was away on a business trip)

He is the only child of mine to take off running ahead of me in Target shooting "pew pew" and announcing "I'm making a path for you Mommy!"

After a couple of years of posting Mac stories on facebook, I noticed that the automatic ad generator started to o

ffer me cheap phone calls from prison. So I moved my story telling to this blog. 

A couple of years ago I engaged in the following conversation with Mac.
"Is it my birthday today?" 
"Yay, should I open my presents now?"
"No Mac, we don't open presents at 2:30 in the morning."
"Ok, I'll just wait five minutes."

It's been an adventure. A joyful, crazy, exhausting adventure. With my boy. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm tired. Like, REALLY tired. Like brain broken tired. And I have nothing to say. Which is extremely rare. The father figure got a stay of execution on his car, and apparently it will be running by tomorrow. When the mechanic told me it was a fuel pump issue, I responded "That doesn't sound like 'sell your car and get something that is reliable and is more responsible considering your family size' so yeah you're going to have to keep looking." He looked at me blankly and said "but I told your husband it was the fuel pump." Curses, foiled at every turn.

For your edification I give you How to Fight a Baby. Filmed by a father. But then again the title gave that away. Things that make a mother cringe.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I have a very expensive, very heavy, paper weight sitting in my driveway.

The father figure's car isn't working. Again. With the same problem that we spent a absurd amount of money fixing in the summer. I am not happy. I hate his car, for partially rational reasons. It's a Trans Am that his father gave him, I think with visions of them fixing it up. Instead, we have had others fix it. Repeatedly. If a boat is a hole that you pour money into, then this car is a boat with four tires.

To add insult to injury, the car only holds four people. It's an absurd vehicle for a family of seven to have. I have suggested, often, purchasing a new car. We both agree it should be done, sooner rather than later. Where the minds diverge is what to do for the father figure's transportation. I think he should inherit my van. He thinks he should have a sport car. However, in recent weeks, he's also discovered that sitting at home with more children than can fit in your car isn't very awesome. So, who knows what the future holds.

it ain't like this
So I must go pick him up from work. Sometime tonight. Yes, it is late, but he's paid by the hour and Christmas is coming. As is either an ugly car repair bill or a new car. So work away my good man. And I will continue to hold down the fort here. Which involves being the mother who says "No you can't wash your hands." X-Man is obsessed with washing his hands. Mostly he's obsessed with water. So I am holding out hand washing as a reward for using the potty.

It took two hours for this approach to backfire on me. X-Man decided to announced the existence of a dirty diaper by shoving his hands in it, pulling them out and coming to me saying "Mom. Yucky. Wash." He wins. Again. And I am reduced to publicly admitting that I am being out foxed by a two year old.
still farther ahead than we are

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I had a lovely time at my future sister in law's bridal shower. But it made me very tired. Mostly because I am old. But also because it is Sunday. And Sunday is a church day, which means Sunday is a wresting X-Man all morning day.

When at church, I prefer to keep X-Man with me, rather than the father figure, partially because X-Man and I must come to some sort of behavior understanding. One that does not involved head butts.

X-Man was relatively well behaved for me today. He prefers to be with me because I give him significantly more leeway than his father does. This is, in part, because my back is out of whack and wrestling a toddler doesn't make it any better. So I often resort to putting X-Man down. Of course that results in me chasing him, typically in heels, (me, not X-Man) and that's not so awesome for the back either. I kept X-Man in the vestibule, until I discovered that not only could he open the doors into the sanctuary himself, but that running was his default option as he hit that carpet. So we headed outside. It was only 40 degrees, no biggie. This time he took off towards the hall, shrieking "newnuts" all the way. I caught him and explained that doughnuts were only for well behaved children. This merited a head butt, that warranted a stern warning. He settled down, more or less after that.

All things considered, it went fairly well for a day that began with weeping from Mac. He was disgruntled with my clothing choice for him. He said that  his sweater made him look fat. And by fat, he meant his sleeves were a bit longer than his arms. Finding sleeves that fit his arms this morning was a bridge too far, as he was wearing a t-shirt that was two sizes too small. Which made the wearing of the fattening sweater all that more important.

But Mac wasn't finished. As we settled in our pew, before X-Man decided he needed to run free, Mac turned to me and said, in his oh so quiet voice, "Well mom, I just peed a little bit in my underwear so I think you should take me to the bathroom." The people behind us didn't even try to suppress their laughter.

Meanwhile the father figure and I are still locked in a dispute. Listening to the radio yesterday he identified a song as a Beatles song. I argued strenuously that it was most definitely not a Beatles song, although I didn't know what it was. I just new it wasn't Lennon/McCartney. Sure enough, the song turned out be "Band on the Run" which I gleefully pointed out to the father figure was most certainly not the Beatles. He maintained that as it did involve McCartney it was the same thing. I adamantly disagreed. He tried to change the subject, which is a sure indicator that he knows I am right, but he won't actually admit it. I still can't stop laughing at the concept that Wings is the same thing as the Beatles.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last time I wrote, I was bemoaning my lack of creativity. And very much the not lack of a deadline. So I buckled down at decided that there was nothing that couldn't be created with the help of some sparkly sharpies. So I set to work. Of course, if I'm trying to do anything, all the childrens want to help me. Being foolish, I only bought exactly enough blank wood ornaments required. So I was very nervous when it came to letting Baby attempt some, but she did a lovely job. As did Baba, who offered to take over the cursive writing for Baby. It was good that I let them assist, because sure enough, Cinco discovered that her mother was paying attention to something other than her young offspring. All was not right in the world. So she screamed, I hopped too, and the older girls created. Everything was going well. As I rocked Cinco in a the darkened bedroom, the girls let me know they had finished the project and were heading to bed. We all called it a night. I personally don't agree with Cinco's definition of a night, that is a period of dark in which one eats and plays and pulls the hair of whomever you are closest too. A real night should also involve nose biting. According to Cinco that is.

I overslept the next morning and had to head to the office immediately. The office being the room across from my bedroom. Normally I would start with a cup of coffee before jumping into the work day, but I was running late and had a ton to do and off I went to teach math. I have been working at this job since before Mac was born, so all of my children know the drill. And, from what I can tell, the drill involves getting up earlier than normal, stomping down the stairs immediately, having an emergency that must be brought to my attention immediately, that emergency being "will we have breakfast this morning?" because, you know, I often don't offer breakfast, having another emergency which ought to have been brought to my attention yesterday being "can we eat right now because I'm HUNNNNNGGGRRRRYYY!!!!", followed by being annoyed in my vicinity, getting into several fights with siblings and bellowing, while sitting next to me "MOOOOOM X-Man's POOOOPPPPY AND IT STINKS!!!!! CHANGE IT NOW!!!!!" Did I mention I am on the phone to a student at this time? Explaining the quadratic formula and everything. On a non-phone call day, they sleep attempt to sleep until nine.

So there I was, instructing away, attempting to draw a line on a rectangular coordinate system with a mouse, giving all appearances of being drunk a full two hours into the day, when I heard Baby's dramatic gasp followed by "X-MAN!!!! NO!!!! MOOOOOOM!!!"

In my sleepy foolishness, I had gone to bed when Cinco drifted off, hey I had ten minutes before she started partying again. I forgot that my children had been working on a project, which guaranteed that it would be still out, laying on the table. And, by forgoing my morning coffee, I failed to realized the light that I thought was the upcoming day was actually the X-Man freight of destruction.

And that's how I ended up in a coffee shop, ten minutes before the ornament exchange was scheduled to begin frantically throwing together replacement ornaments. No good can come from doing crafts.

I came home to this note written to the tooth fairy by Baby. After I finished cringing over the spelling, I was able to delight in it. Somewhat. Mostly I just despaired at the spelling.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You know the kind of math I like? 3 kids + 1 dentist = 0 cavities. I hung out in the waiting room with X-Man, who was irate that he couldn't tag along with his siblings, and Cinco who was hanging out looking cute. But never fear, I could still hear Mac talking away. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I could hear him. A lot. On and on and on. Apparently, among other things, he kept telling the dentist she didn't need to see in his mouth because he didn't have cavities. As he announced in the waiting room "See mom, I was telling the truth!"

You know what number I hate? 30. As in 30 Jesse Tree ornaments I committed to making. See, I have noticed that motherhood makes me completely scattered and I have no memory. No memory of the fact that I am completely incompetent when it comes to crafts. Not crafty is putting it mildly. I am where crafts come to die. It's not my fault, it's genetic. My grandmother sewed her hand to whatever it was she was sewing. With her machine. So, I'm not sure how it explains Baby, who not only loves crafts but also as more talent than me to infinity.

It's not that  I can't envision what I want to do. I have an awesome craft imagination. I have no ability to execute my vision. Well, that's not quite right. I do execute it , but the results are never anything close to the gloriousness that I envisioned. And so, when I have to share my creations with others, well......I stall. So with 48 hours until show time, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly it is I'm going for.

Another reason to hate 30. It is the number of burpees I have to do the said number of days. Again, I have to wonder why  I do this to myself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I have many regrets. One is agreeing to do 30 burpies for 30 days. I've done 20 today and am not really interested in the ten more I am supposed to do today. However, there are a couple of family weddings on the horizon and I would prefer to present of pleasant image of the life awaiting the blushing brides. So toning and poundage loss is required. 

Today's post needs to be short and sweet. I need to clean and paint and do laundry and put kids to bed and and grade papers. And I really do need to blog because that's part of the weight loss contest I committed to. Not that every one has to blog, but this is my "good habit". Because I know ya'll want more and more of my streaming consciousness. 

I jumped the gun on hoping for a breakthrough on the whole potty training front. It seems like this is all I talk about, mostly because it's basically how I spend my day. 

X-Man slept in late today. Which meant I was upstairs cleaning the bathroom when he woke up. It was sweet, I got a big beaming smile, even kisses, and plenty of snuggle time. Of course I had to go ruin it. I know the X-Man, I know how he functions, and I knew he needed to use the bathroom.

So it all unfolded as you might imagine, having read countless accounts of X-Man and the potty. He screamed. I insisted. He tried to hit me. I put his hands in time out. He threw his head back and bellowed. I reminded him of candy. As we waited., I noticed him quieting down. Instead of thrashing, he crumpled, his head in his hands, weeping silently. I noticed as well that his body had failed him. Despite his best efforts, he was peeing in the potty. I began to clap. He cried harder. I reminded him he had candy coming. He wailed. 

I helped him off the potty and watched him toddle to his bedroom. Chin on his chest crying. He climbed up on his bed and laid face down, bare bum up, weeping into his pillow. When I returned with his foiled wrapped chocolate, he was still prostrate with grief. I offered his reward, which broke his focus, but not long. He sat up, took the chocolate, held it in the palm of his hand and began to weep again. As slightly forced sobs shook his shoulders, he took a bite, but then extended his arm to observe his personal 30 pieces of silver. And so the process repeated itself, bite after tiny bite. 

I stayed and observed the entire performance. I still don't quite know the message of this performance art. Was it to show me how cruel the whole process is? So horrific chocolate barely covers the pain? Was he distraught that his bladder did not have the patience he demanded? Is he just Italian? I don't know. But in over a decade of parenting, this was a show I hadn't seen before.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

I got a new phone on Friday. That was an experience. I went in, knew exactly what I wanted and got it. Only I had to hand over my old phone. Which, although it meant I lost random text messages from soccer parents whose numbers I never bothered to log, was ok by me. IF, and it was most certainly a big IF, they made sure to transfer all my pictures. See, last time they tried and didn't. Among many mess ups during that trip. They somehow managed to give the father figure's phone number to me and vice verse. As I was explaining my reservations the manager asked "Did you go to the store off of Cheklov?" Why yes I did. You know it would be nice if companies would hang signs outside their stores saying something along the lines of "This is where we send our incompetent employees" in the interests of full disclosure.

X-Man was over the entire process before it even began. Which was good. The tech guy said the longest part of the process would be transferring the pictures over. He asked how many I thought I had, probably a couple hundred? I simply said "I have a lot of pictures. And those are the only pictures of my newborn youngest daughter since the father figure lost his phone. So, yeah." The whole thing took two hours. Apparently, it takes a long time to transfer over 1300 pictures.

I wish I could have taken a page from X-Man. He was awake when we got out of the car, awake when we got to the store, yelled at me to turn his stroller around and then........I've never seen a child sleep the way X-Man does. He sleeps as if it was a full contact sport. Which is typically is for anyone near him He sweats like he's running a marathon, breathes like he's dying (which means back to the ENT doctor for us) and is quite dead to the world. I can't count how often I've transferred him to the basket of a shopping cart, pushed him through the parking lot, throughout the store and back out across the parking lot as he snores away. His snoring is rather incredible too. While it makes for easy shopping for me, except for requiring Baba to push a second cart because nothing fits in Sleeping Beauty's carriage, there's usually drama when it's time to load up the car. X-Man gets very frustrated because I have yet been able to transfer him BACK to his car seat asleep. So he groggily realizes he's in a parking lot but mom's putting him back in the car. No we need to go in the store! Mom you forgot to go shopping! Here I will yell very loudly to jar you back to reality!

X-Man's ability to pass out as soon as he sets his mind to it impressed the manager. X-Man had been loudly campaigning to be allowed to play with a sample phone. And then suddenly silence. I half assumed that he had gotten himself out of the stroller and snuck off. But no. The phone guy suddenly announced, "Oh that's awesome, I'm going to have to get a picture." Suddenly Mac alerted and went into older brother mode "Are you taking a picture of my brother? Is that your phone? Is that my mom's phone? Why are you taking a picture of my brother?" Satisfied when he learned that it was mommy's new phone being used, he drove right  back into Angry Birds.

As a result, our two hour foray into the phone store wasn't a complete disaster. The older  kids played games on the phones, X-Man slept and Cinco did Cincoy smile and smile and smile some more.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

As we are approaching the end of the year and Christmas is fast approaching, it was time to arrange Christmas cards. A portrait studio was having a decent sale, so, actually being rather on top of things, I went ahead and made an appointment. I even bought X-Man a shirt and Gestated Cinco a sweater in the grey and blue color combo I was working with.

The clothing was where my control began and where it ended.

I scheduled the appointment late in the day to accommodate futsal schedules. It also ensured that X-Man got a nap, and therefore, one would hope, be cooperative. We got there just a few minutes late and waited and waited. They were running behind, as per usual. X-Man was getting restless, so we went for a walk and observed the “mis-mas” decorations that were up. X-Man was very impressed. And he was completely uninterested in returning to the photo studio. He expressed his displeasure very vocally.

If X-Man was going to be forced to return to the studio, it would be on his terms. His terms included hanging out in the photography room itself, never mind that others were using it. Again, he was very vocal in his displeasure. And physical. The concept of restraining him was degrading. At least in his own mind.
And so it was under these circumstances that the Christmas photo session began. X-Man was annoyed at life. Cinco was only interested in eating my chin and not having her nose wiped and Baby was crying. See, I made her button up her sweater, so that she was wearing it the way it was intended to be worn. Quite cruel and unreasonable on my part. I know. Just ask X-Man, I was being cruel all over the place.

In my focus on keeping X-Man corralled, and in a passable mood, I forgot to instruct Mac on how to behave. Mac is a good kid who wants me to tell him he did a good job. I’ve learned that if I clearly spell out my expectations for him, he will almost always measure up. He knows what I mean when I tell him “Don’t be silly.” But I didn’t remember to say that.

So there we were, in front of the camera, Cinco focused on chewing on my necklace, X-Man harrumphing, Baby pouting and Mac gleefully repeating “stinky socks!” back to the photographer. As X-Man stopped arching backward, the tone of Mac’s voice registered with me. “Don’t be silly Mac.” The photographer smiled and said “well, it might be a little late for that.” At that, X-Man decided he was completely done with the process and began to bellow so that there was no misunderstanding.

I mentioned that I wanted to individual shots of Gestated Cinco, so that she didn’t end up with a complex when she discovered that there were plenty of pictures of her siblings and none of her. For some reason, maybe because she had never seen a family of this size or contemplated life with a fifth child, the photographer completely lost it, not unlike X-Man, although she was laughing not crying. “You’re a riot.” I guess she’d been listening to my muttering the whole time.

So I left with some nice pictures of Gestating Cinco, could not find a picture of Mac where he didn’t look high and X-Man, well it’s X-Man. An appropriate glimpse into 2013.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dare I hope, we've turned a corner? It occurred to X-Man yesterday that using the potty and getting candy is a much more pleasant experience than attacking his mother. Took long enough, but, maybe just maybe. Of course, he has put it together that the more often he uses that potty the more candy he gets. So, I've had to take him numerous times so far this morning. But I'm not complaining.

At some point in this circus, the father figure should actually learn to quit underestimating his children. Cinco keeps threatening to crawl, she likes to hang out on her hands and knees and then sort of jump forward. This process takes too much time, so she still ends up army crawling if she's really committed. And she's always really committed. As a result, she's all over the place. And has discovered the stairs. The father figure saw this and commented "She'll be climbing those soon." I responded "I think now is about the time." "Oh no, she can't even stand on her own." And with that Cinco pulled herself upright and the foot of the stairs.

It took her at least five minutes before she figured how to lift her little leg up onto the stair. Then she was stuck. She gave it her best efforts and managed to get her whole body up there, with the exception of her little leg which she was balancing. She couldn't bring herself to lift that last leg. But that won't last long.

Of course I have boys and therefore they are physically incapable of staying out of the drywall dust. I asked the drywaller guy to leave the paper on the floor for protection as I painted. Should of thought it through. X-Man was actually making dust angels. His hair is so thick, he seriously resembles Pig Pen. Clouds everywhere. Fortunately the paper is loud, when small feet hit it. Which means I need to go chase someone down right now. Maybe distract him with the potty.

Have I mentioned that we all have colds and X-Man finds tissues a personal form of torture. I'm waiting for CPS to arrive, called by well intentioned neighbors. I plan asking them to wipe his nose, while keeping him out of the construction zone. And then resting my case. And yes, the white powder hand prints all over me are really and truly dry wall compound.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I was motivated to begin this blog partly based upon reaction to my facebook status updates. They mostly involved Mac's antics as a toddler and people were highly amused by them. At least someone was laughing.

So, I started a blog. And I kept my facebook account, although I admit that I don't update my status quite as often. In fact, I often hold things back for this blog. But, there's enough there that a "bot" was able to create a mash up of various statuses of mine. Everyone was doing it, best reason ever, so I decided to let it access my old posting and see what it came up with. For kicks.

This is what it produced.
"I am not allowed to volunteer too. Sticking with the team called The floor did not need to liberate and not allowed to volunteer too. Sticking with my math book. Baby's response just love karma." 

Yep. Somehow my sister ended up with "Go Irish Beat USC" and I ended up the with that. I guess I post drunk on facebook way more often than I thought. But it does help clarify at least why my children seem to ignore me so much. They can't figure out what the heck I'm talking about. I know see what they typically look at me as if I had three heads. And not one of them attractive.

Apparently I stick with teams and math book. And I have issues with volunteering. I also recognize why I have over 20,000 page views on this blog. They're not coming to laugh WITH me.

Also, X-Man just ran up to me and gave me a hug and a kiss. Which means he peed somewhere that is not a potty.

Monday, November 11, 2013

One day X-Man will be potty trained. I just hope I'm alive to see it. I'll be able to brag to all my friends on bingo at the senior center. Until, I'll continue to live at the mercy of his whims, which seem to be tied to the most inconvenient moments possible. Today I was expect the dude to come and finish the job. He arrived and sat in the driveway, as per usual, finishing his morning cigarette. About that time I heard, "MOOOOOM! X-Man's POOOOOPY!" "Yeah and it stinks too!" Well happy Monday to me. The moment I unleashed X-Man's weapon of mass digestion, the door bell rang. Of course it did. Now, I could have run downstairs to open the door. But I know how that would have ended. Lots and lots of Clorox all over the bedroom. So, I dispatched Mac to tell Baba to please let the drywaller in.

I came downstairs to see Mac at the front window enunciating very loudly "I. DON'T. KNOW. YOU. I. CAN'T. OPEN. THE. DOOR." and Baba calmly unloading the dishwasher. The drywaller guy actually shook Mac's hand, once admittance was granted, and told him "good job." I was still trying to figure out how the whole "go downstairs and tell Baba to let the gentleman I am expecting in" translated to "yell out the window." Oh well.

Painting. It ain't like the movies. It's not fun, you don't look cute in overalls, there's no cute boy to playfully paint the tip of your nose. There are toddlers to help though. All sorts of help. And the father figure was bound and determined not to help. Overtime my gluteus maximus. He could smell the paint a mile away and kept his distance.

Time the nap, it's a tricky game. I knew I needed to go and get paint and supplies for my newly finished walls. However, I knew that I wanted to paint during nap time. I also knew that I wanted to get some work done on school and I wanted to spare myself some hassle. I could leave with breakfast dishes still on the table and the kids would start asking for lunch immediately. Plus, the sheet rock guy was still there. I could leave after he left, but Cinco was sleeping, fitfully, with a stuffy nose, so that sleeping baby was going to lie. I was hoping to time things right, just after lunch, and get back in time for naps. But never underestimate X-Man's ability to sleep wherever. And his determination to continue sleeping into the store. I have lost count of the number of times I've had to transfer his totally limp body into a shopping cart basket and watch him sprawl out and make himself at home.

So this meant no painting during nap time. But it did not mean no painting. I'm dying to finish off the house so I tackled the job. I only had to chase X-Man out a couple of times. He only stuck his hands in the paint once. His siblings sat slack jawed being entertained by minions, so successfully that they didn't notice that the ONE thing they were supposed to do, keep X-Man out of my way was not happening.

All in all, it was one of my more successful painting experiences. Never one to do a thing half way, I tend to paint when nesting. For the record, there is no nesting involved this time around. And I tend to paint during nap time. Back in the peaceful days of Baba and Baby and gestating Mac, I was painting my bedroom a bright cheery yellow. My bedroom was large and it was a multiple day project. The entry way to the master bedroom was next to the girls' bedroom door. Behind which, Baby was allegedly napping.

The phone rang, distracting me and causing me to leave the room. I left mid project, obviously, and was gone less than two minutes. Ya'll know how this is going. Sure enough, I returned to find an entire gallon of yellow paint, suddenly not so cheery, spilled on the beige carpet. And, to add insult to injury, a trail of little yellow footprints led out of my room, into the hall, which too had beige carpet, and into Baby's room. They stopped right at her bed and there was a little bundle under all of the blanket, desperately trying to sleep.  In case you were wondering, her bedroom carpet was beige too. But fortunately she had pulled all the books off her bookshelf, so several of them were covered in yellow as well. But not her carpet.

I was not amused and spent the rest of my afternoon, and extended nap time or sheltering in place as it were, scrubbing yellow paint out of the carpet. I managed to convince the father figure to not pour turpentine all over the carpet and all in all it was a very successful salvage operation. For some reason, I found the little yellow feet not sentimental at all. Unlike the little blue hand print that Baba left on her bedroom door, back when I was nesting with Baby. Probably because it was just one. Or I was still in the phase where everything a child of mine did was super adorable. Yeah, not there anymore.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I got an email from Baba’s soccer coach today, he thanked me for communicating so well with him and complimented me on how well I juggled everything. I don’t really know what he was talking about. Yes Baba showed up on time to all her games and practices….mostly. Some of those 7:15am show times were more like 7:25am show times. And Baba showed up dressed properly. So kudos to me. I won’t mention that she’s the most self-sufficient of my children and that Mac showed up to one of his games wearing two left shoes….different sized shoes. Why shatter the illusion?

It’s been yet another extremely frustrating day. X-Man can control himself when it comes to the potty, he runs around diaper and accident free. Well mostly. He sat on the potty for twenty minutes this morning. I knew he needed to go. I saw him drip and then work hard at control. I gave it all I could, but Cinco started yelling for me and fractions won’t divide themselves so off the the ignored children I went. So off he got. He took off running and before I could get his diaper on him, he peed on my new finished hard wood floor. I think he hates me.

Although this process hasn’t been easy on him. He has been denied all candy and cookies. And he has chosen to deny himself. But it is crushing his soul. I caught him climbing into the oven today. I guess if he can’t wear a diaper, life’s just not worth living or something. He was outraged and horrified that there were severe consequences to his actions. He kept protesting “No phhphh (his sound for hot) MA!” Oh ok then. He also has been denied the pleasure of watering the kitchen floor, since I locked the water dispenser on the fridge. It’s all good though, he’s just taken to turning on the dishwasher. Which would almost be convenient, but he doesn’t use soap and likes to empty out all the dishes he can reach first. And somehow Cinco always manages to discover them before I do. I’m beginning to remember why I homeschooled at the kitchen table and not in a dedicated room.

Gestated Cinco and X-Man have really been ganging up on me this last week. It started at Church on Sunday. Cinco was giving amens most loudly and had to be ushered out. X-Man was desperate to come with me. I let him, knowing that the whole two babies one mom ratio wasn’t in my favor, but I wanted him to feel like an important person, one who didn’t need to fight for mom’s attention. And therefore would use the potty because he didn’t need to use diaper changes as a time for maternal interaction. (The father figure says I overthink things. I say I change too many diapers). X-Man hung out quietly for a while. He sat sweetly and watch a little boy behind him drive toy cars. The boy offered X-Man one, and he played quietly. But soon I needed to return to the father figure, Cinco was getting more agitated and wanted to take a walk. So I told X-Man it was time to go. X-Man knew what that meant. He grabbed the car and headed out the door, which he opened himself, and took off running. I made him give back the car. And so the rage began.

I dragged a bellowing X-Man out to the vestibule. He had gone completely limp. I set Cinco down on the floor to restrain the thrashing toddler. Cinco saw the leaves that had been tracked in on the floor and was thrilled. X-Man was not silent. A gentleman offered to hold Cinco for me. This gentleman was my brother’s future father in law, and someone I’ve known for decades, so I was comfortable letting him hold my little girl. X-Man questioned the wisdom of this decision. Well, questioned is a rather gentle term. He proceeded to filibuster this choice loudly and physically. He lunged towards Cinco bellowing “No my baby, baby, baby.” He clearly forgot about the lost car and was convinced I had just handed off his sister to some person. And most likely he was next. Or something. The father figure showed up, annoyed at the noise that could be heard church wide, I was annoyed that the father figure had taken so long to show up. X-Man began screaming at his father “mama baby baby no!” His father took Cinco and X-Man’s panic subsided.
But it returned today. As I picked up my three older children from class, X-Man decided that it was just too much to walk, and that I should carry him, along with Cinco. Unlike Gestated Cinco, X-Man is heavy and completely uninterested in assisting me in holding him up. I was lugging over fifty pounds of child towards the classroom and found a friend of mine. I handed her Cinco. And I headed to the bathroom with X-Man.

Hysteria city. X-Man was throwing himself against the door. I thought this was a freak out based upon the thought that I might make him use the potty again. Because that’s pretty much his reaction. But when I encountered my friend with Gestated Cinco all became clear. X-Man lunged towards his sister, grabbed her arms and pulled her back to me. The boy is strong! He then frowned upon both myself and my friend. You would think if it was this important that I hold his sister, he might want to help out and get down. But no. I was back to holding nearly sixty pounds of offspring.

When the father figure heard he decided to have X-Man teach a workshop to Mac on how to react when he sees his sisters with boys.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's been a bad day. A day of ignoring me, It doesn't matter if you're the father figure, my children, my students or contractors. No one listened to me at all today. I wish I was exaggerating to make a point. But I'm not. It was a bad day.

It had its moments. I managed to look like an acceptable mother on the book of faces. Well. the fact that I was on the book of faces probably negates any of the benefits I would have gained by appearing to be a good mother. Oh well. There was a game on Facebook where you were to add the phrase "with a chainsaw" to the end of the last book you read. My entry was "Thomas the Tank Engine's Happy Birthday Surprise....with a chain saw." I was pleased because this indicated that I had actually read something to my children. Something other than the riot act.

But I was back, reading the riot act away, later that afternoon. We were on a tight schedule. Between work and ring around the receiver with various contractors--trying to wrap my head around the fact that there was a $1300 swing between bids for the same job--I needed the children to quickly and quietly get ready to go. I had to take the father figure's work boots into be repaired, as they looked as if his heels had been the only brakes on his theoretical motorcycle. We had swimming lessons, soccer and voting to do before I could get home to meet the next contractor. Tight schedule people. And it was clear from the thumping upstairs that obedience wasn't on the list of things to do. Baba was the ring leader. Quite literally. I walked into their bedroom and saw Baby and Mac and X-Man all chasing Baba, running in circle.

Sing goddess, sing of the wrath of the mother. Whoo boy did I lose it. The older three stood before me, heads bent, with all the appearances of remorse. Remorse that they got caught, I'm sure. And I raised the roof. X-Man was a little late to the party. He had continued to run around the circle of remorse but even he could not ignore my wrath. He hasn't seen me like this, possibly ever, so he was obviously concerned that he handle the situation correctly. He pushed his way to the front and center of his siblings, turned his face heavenward and began to bellow. I was upset enough that I ignored him at first, in fact he wasn't even on my radar. But despite the severity of my lecture, I could see the allegedly contrite children's mouths begin to twitch. That did not help my blood pressure. But I did pause to observe X-Man's depiction of "Child Mid Lecture." He was still bellowing, a bellowing similar to the sounds he makes when he is set on the potty. He was rubbing his eyes as if there were tears there, an academy award performance if ever there was one. "Are you sorry for being naughty X-Man?" He picked up on the change in tone of my voice, removed his hands and betrayed his dry eyes. We made eye contact, his little brown eyes had that gleam in them.
er there was one. I stopped mid threat and looked at him.
And then in a moment that, while amusing makes me just a wee bit terrified for the future, he spun around, and began pushing his siblings "GO GO GO!" 

The scheme is strong in this one.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I can't be the first mom to dig her daughter's under armor out of the hamper, spray it down with Febreeze and and deem it "good enough." In all fairness to me, I'm fairly certain that it was indeed clean and thrown in the hamper as part of "cleaning our room." I felt minimal guilt.

Halloween was anti climactic. I got my fair share of  "five kids? how do you do it?" I pointed to my caravan and said "All this chocolate? They only think it's for them." People laughed as if they thought I was joking.

Mac was done about ten minutes in. He started complaining and wanted to call it a night. X-Man also threw in the towel early. He decided that he should be carted around in the wagon. However, he also wanted candy. So he would shake his pumpkin at me and yell "HANDY MOM!" I did not oblige.And the X-Man determined that he didn't need any candy, or at least his need did not override his desire to stay nice a warm in the wagon.

And, as always, my best laid plans were put asunder by X-Man. I had every intention of taking his Halloween candy hostage, the ransom being potty usage. As is often the error, this plan was based upon a faulty assumption. I assumed that X-Man would want to eat his candy. Nope. His Halloween treasures are to be carried all over the house, in his orange plastic pumpkin. They are to be admired. But not removed from the pumpkin. Not even as a reward.

I made the mistake of offering him a piece, and he collapsed on the floor wailing until I put it back in the pumpkin. Then he took off running with loot in hand. Five days later, he hasn't eaten any yet. I can't shake the feeling that he knew about my master plan and had countered.

Oh, and this weekend I took Cinco into the Urgent Care. We left with a diagnosis of "fussy baby." Well, in all fairness that's what was listed under "symptoms." You would think after all X-Man's experiences with ear infections I would be able to actually recognize one. But no. I just haul babies to the doctor and say "she's crying. Fix her."